The Electrical Safety Council is calling for manufacturers to face tougher penalties if they undertake inadequate or slow recalls, following growing concerns over the effectiveness of the recall system and the emergence of a number of serious incidents involving recalled products.
Manufacturers who delay or take action in a recall situation currently face fines of only £5,000.
The ESC would like to see tougher penalties based on a percentage of profits from the recalled product, with a minimum level set at £5,000. This should ensure manufacturers react quickly and effectively should a recall situation arise.
The ESC is also inviting Trading Standards to set out clear and unambiguous guidelines on exactly what a manufacturer should do if they have produced a product that is subject to a recall. The ESC’s research shows that typically only 10-20% of recalled electrical products are ever returned, exposing millions of people in the UK to the risk of fire or electrocution. Over the last six years there have been 266 recall notices for electrical items.
In addition to the proposed change to fines, the Electrical Safety Council has today outlined proposals for a new centralised product registration system, coordinated by the charity, which could help manufacturers trace their products to the consumer in a recall situation.
At the moment only 5-10% of people fill in registration cards for new items because they are concerned about their information being used for marketing purposes and because they don’t understand the purpose of the cards. Yet over half of all the people that took part in the Electrical Safety Council’s research said they would be more likely to register products with an independent organisation, if their details were used only in the event of a recall and if they were assured their details wouldn’t be used for marketing purposes.
Do you fill in and send off the produce registration card? Or do you, like many people just throw it away? It’s there for a reason – keeping you and your families safe. Next time you purchase a new product do everyone a favour – FILL IN THE CARD AND SEND IT OFF!
- Mark Jenkins